Comic Review: Monocyte #2

Monocyte #2
Created by Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari
Written by Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari
Art by Menton3
IDW Publishing
Release Date: December 28, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

It’s not often that a comic book demands my attention. Gorgeous art and dynamic narrative often grab my attention, but rarely demand it. Monocyte #2 forced me to examine every panel and page. If my attention wandered for even a moment the next page of Monocyte #2 was foreign to me. The creative team behind this series has built a completely immersive experience with issue #2. This is not a comic for someone looking to kill 15 minutes. This is a comic that requires your undivided attention from start to finish. Of course you could understand that base story on cursory glance. But just by glancing you would be missing the subtle injection of character development through narrative. Monocyte #2 elevates itself above being just a comic. Monocyte #2 is poetry in panels.

It’s no secret that I was not a huge fan of the first issue of Monocyte. I felt that Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari had created something beautiful yet ultimately soulless. Characters felt flat and though beautifully written, the structure of issue 1 was lacking. I hungered for something that I could connect with. Monocyte #2 has answered by giving me that connection.

Though we still learn very little about our main protagonist, we are treated to small reflections of Monocyte. As Monocyte rips through masses of Olignostics he reflects on the nature of his own existence. It is in moments like this that I began to pity this all-powerful creation. Even with unlimited strength at his fingertips Monocyte still envies the dead and dying. This is the exact character development that was missing in issue 1. In only a few lines of dialogue Monocyte #2 rejects everything that was holding it back. Once I had characters I could embrace Monocyte #2 became a stunning comic.

This issue is full of all the dark and twisted art you can come to expect from this series. Characters and sets alike are pulled straight from your worst nightmares. Battles jump off the pages as bodies are obliterated and blood is shed. Menton3 still is using the darkest color palette humanely conceivable. Yet in this terrible world of sorrow and twisted immortality a little darkness is right at home. The extreme darkness in every panel only makes the occasional spray of blood that much more shocking. Very little about Monocyte #2 is cheerful and the beautifully illustrated artwork reflects that perfectly.

I expected Monocyte #2 to be a beautifully rendered comic. I expected the artwork of Menton3 to be stunning and eerie. What I did not expect was to be completely sold on this comic after reading it. Monocyte #2 left me feeling generally troubled. The combination of wonderfully illustrated nightmares and painstakingly crafted dialogue left a weight on my shoulders. This comic pulled me into its world of horror and left me shaken. Which of course is the sign of fantasy horror comic at its best.

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